The Chinese Version of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Manufacturing has been the mainstay of the Chinese economy and a driver of its expansion. This was the sector that helped China rise to the level of being the world’s second biggest economy today. This impressive evolution was based on a large workforce, low wages and government support, as well as radical initiatives in manufacturing. But, in today’s world of competition, when other world industrial leaders continue to develop technologically, it is not possible for China to remain centred around a strategy of labour-intensive, low-cost production strategy. Recognizing the opportunities and challenges that technology brings to the continued development of the country, China’s current premier, Li Keqiang, launched the “Made in China 2025 ” (MIC 2025 ) policy with an aim to drive automation and intelligent manufacturing as a stepping stone to remain relevant and competitive in the future world economy.
Launched by Premier Li Keqiang in 2015, “Made in China 2025″ strategy aims to guide the China’s industrial modernization, including the substitution of foreign technology with innovation developed on the mainland. In his 2015 Annual Government Work Report, Prime Minister Li announced, “We will implement the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, seek innovation-driven development, apply smart technologies, strengthen foundations, pursue green development and redouble our efforts to upgrade China from a manufacturer of quantity to one of quality.”
Here we take a look at various aspects of this strategy that is being increasingly called the Chinese version of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Originally announced in 2015, China’s industrial master plan “Made in China 2025 ” aims to turn the country into a “manufacturing superpower” over the coming decades. This industrial policy will challenge the economic primacy of the current leading economies and international corporations as it targets virtually all high-tech industries that strongly contribute to economic growth in advanced economies: automotive, aviation, machinery, robotics, high-tech maritime and railway equipment, energy-saving vehicles, medical devices and information technology, to name only a few. Countries in which these high-tech industries contribute a large share of economic growth are most vulnerable to China’s plans.
Aims and Objectives
MIC 2025 sets to modernize China’s industrial capability. This 10-year, comprehensive strategy focuses heavily on intelligent manufacturing in 10 strategic sectors and has the aim of securing China’s position as a global powerhouse in high-tech industries such as robotics, aviation, and new energy vehicles such as electric and biogas. This research and development driven plan is seen as a critical element in China’s sustained growth and competitiveness for the coming decades as it transitions into a developed economy.
It also seeks to ensure Chinese manufacturers remain competitive with emerging low-cost producers such as Vietnam.
Read More: Mapping the Chinese century
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